Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti have threatened to lead residents in protest against recent remarks by Trade CS Moses Kuria that the government will evict squatters from East African Portland Cement (EAPC) land.
Speaking in Machakos during the swearing-in of county executive committee members, Kalonzo and Wavinya declared EAPC lot was community land, whose ownership cannot be subjected to any debate.
“We will mobilize our people to stage a peaceful protest march to the land where CS Kuria said he will bring NYS bulldozers to sink trenches. If the Government cannot respect the rule of law, then we will be forced to call the residents to action,” said Kalonzo amid cheers.
Kalonzo claimed President William Ruto’s administration had hatched a scheme to disenfranchise local residents by depriving them of their ancestral inheritance.
He cautioned Ruto against the eviction, warning that the president’s record could be tainted if he mishandled the Portland land issue.
“This Government is now attempting to revoke the title deeds which were issued by the Jomo Kenyatta regime to our fathers and we won’t accept it. We fought for independence and we deserve a government which respects the rule of law,” said Kalonzo.
The Wiper leader’s sentiments were echoed by Wavinya who took issue with CS Kuria’s declaration that the government will flatten all the structures put up on the controversial land.
Wavinya said the CS bypassed local leaders before making the controversial pronouncement on the land.
“I want to tell CS Kuria that he was just appointed to the position the other day and before he starts talking down on us, he should have made an effort to sit with us so that we explain to us our part of the story,” said Wavinya.
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According to Wavinya, EAPC stole the land from Machakos residents.
“As Machakos people, we gave them (EAPC) our community land to extract raw materials for cement manufacturing after which the agreement was that they surrender the land back to the community,” said Wavinya.
Wavinya went on to lament that EAPC had gone ahead to illegally obtain bank loans using the land title as collateral.
“They never bought it. They went and took a loan from the bank and used the land as security. We are not going to allow that,” said Wavinya.
During a recent visit to EAPC factory in Athi River, CS Kuria issued a notice to all the squatters on the land to vacate, saying the government was planning to recover the land to pave the way to set up investment companies.